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New Year Terrorist Attack in Turkey

 
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dzu
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:41 pm    Post subject: New Year Terrorist Attack in Turkey Reply with quote

I hate to start the year with this post, but...

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/01/01/new-year-revelers-slaughtered-in-turkey-was-shooter-dressed-as-santa.html?via=newsletter&source=DDAfternoon

Inside Turkey's Terror ‘Santa’ Attack
As video emerges of terrorists mowing down least 39 people at a popular Istanbul nightclub, a manhunt is underway for the killers.
Christopher Dickey
01.01.17 8:43 AM ET

PARIS—That lunatics somewhere would make themselves messengers of death as this New Year begins was to be expected at the dawn of 2017. That one of them might have been dressed as Santa Claus probably was not.

While Europe and the United States celebrated safely amid massive security precautions, Turkey, too, had readied for the worst—or thought it had. But about an hour after midnight, at least one gunman managed to shoot his way into the Reina nightclub on the edge of the Bosporus in the trendy, touristy Istanbul neighborhood of Ortaköy.

Hundreds of people were there celebrating, and by the time the staccato of gunfire and the screams of the wounded began to die down 39 people had been killed, at least 69 injured. Some reportedly had jumped into the icy Bosporus waters to try to escape. Many of the victims were foreigners.

Ortaköy, in the shadow of the enormous bridge that spans the Bosporus, is only a few minutes’ walk from luxury hotels like the Kempinski Çırağan Palace and the Four Seasons. Reina is one of the chicest clubs in the city.

The killer arrived in an Istanbul taxi, retrieved a bag from the trunk and removed the automatic barrel and began to shoot. The first to die were a policeman just outside the upscale nightclub bodyguards and a tour guide standing near the entrance, Turkish media reported.

On entering the Reina nightclub, the gunman sprayed bullets at random at the crowd. The melee lasted seven minutes – from 1:15 am to 1:22 a.m, and at the end of it, there were at least 39 people were dead and 69 wounded, at least four in critical condition. And then he took off his coat and hat, dropped his gun and fled on foot, disappearing in the confusion early New Year’s Day.

Police believe only one gunman was involved in the attack, Süleyman Soylu, the interior minister, said.

[...]

Meanwhile, as the Russian/Assad/Iran alliance consolidates its positions in the major urban centers of Western Syria, it may also turn its attention to the fight against ISIS. And ISIS, as is its wont, will try to hit back whenever and wherever it can against soft targets around the world.

As Daily Beast correspondent Roy Gutman points out, the nightclub attack has all the hallmarks of an ISIS operation against a soft target, and fits into the message the group sent when it released a video two days before Christmas of two captured Turkish soldiers being burned alive. A Turkish ISIS fighter proclaimed in that clip that Turkey is “the land of Jihad” and urged ISIS sympathizers to “burn it, blow it up and destroy it.”

Sometimes ISIS will use trained cadre like those who carried out the Nov. 13, 2015 attacks in Paris and the Mar. 22, 2016, bombings in Brussels, or demented volunteers ready to wreak mayhem like the shooter in Orlando’s pulse nightclub in June or the driver who mowed down spectators at Bastille Day celebrations in Nice, France, in July.

The Tunisian thug who drove through a Christmas Market in Berlin two weeks ago, a teenager who attacked tourists in a train in Germany and the murderers of a priest and police officers in France appear to have been inspired and directed by “remote control,” as French security officials say, using the encrypted messaging app Telegram

So, truly, and sadly, while 2017 is a year to hope for the best, it is a time to prepare for the worst.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:43 pm    Post subject: New Year's Eve Massacre Reply with quote

24 Foreigners Among Istanbul Victims, Attacker Still at Large

Turkish authorities say 24 foreign nationals were among the 39 people killed in a New Year’s Eve attack on a popular Istanbul nightclub early Sunday. The attack took place shortly after 1 a.m., when an attacker stormed in and began firing at partygoers with what Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin described as some kind of assault rifle. In addition to those killed, 69 people are currently being treated at Turkish hospitals for their injuries, with four of them in critical condition. The Israeli foreign ministry has identified one of the victims as a 19-year-old Israeli woman from the town of Tira. Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said the other foreign nationals were Moroccan, Saudi Arabian, Lebanese and Libyan, though he stopped short of releasing any further details, the Guardian reported. The identification of the victims comes as Soylu refutes earlier reports of the attacker being caught, saying the attacker is still at large and a manhunt is ongoing. While initial reports said there were multiple attackers, authorities now say they are seeking a single attacker. The search coincided with the first funeral for one of the victims, Ayhan Arik, who reportedly drove foreign tourists to the Reina nightclub where the massacre took place. As the nation’s holiday festivities quickly turned into mourning on Sunday, President Tayyip Erdogan vowed to “fight to the end” against terrorism, and “against their economic, political and social attacks.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2017/jan/01/istanbul-nightclub-attack-dozens-killed-new-years-eve-mass-shooting-live-updates
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:48 pm    Post subject: New Year Terrorist Attack in Turkey Reply with quote

From the BBC:

Two gunmen, allegedly dressed in Santa costumes, opened fire inside an Istanbul nightclub on New Year’s Eve, killing at least 35 and wounding 40 more, according to the city’s governor. The massacre took place around 1:30 a.m. local time, when hundreds of people were packed into the Reina club, in the Ortakoy neighborhood, to ring in 2017. Desperate partygoers reportedly jumped into the Bosphorus to escape the attack.

While the Turkish government has released no information yet on the alleged perpetrators, the country has been hit by a string of assassinations and mass terror attacks in recent weeks. On Dec. 19, Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was shot dead, as he gave a speech at an art gallery in Ankara, by an off-duty police officer allegedly angered by Russia’s backing of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad regime and its destruction of rebel forces in Aleppo. And on Dec. 10, a car bomb attack in central Istanbul killed 29 people, most of them policemen, and wounded 166 after a soccer match.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38481521
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:16 pm    Post subject: A year of deadly attacks in Turkey Reply with quote

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/01/01/turkey-attacks/96058890/

A year of deadly attacks in Turkey
Bart Jansen , USA TODAY

The deadly attack at an Istanbul nightclub Sunday was the latest in a series of attacks in Turkey from terrorist shootings, suicide bombings and an attempted military coup.

Attacks during the past year include:

• Jan. 1, 2017: A gunman killed at least 39 people and wounded at least 69 others celebrating New Year's at a nightclub in Istanbul.

• Dec. 19, 2016: A Turkish riot policeman shot to death Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov at a photo exhibit in Ankara.

• Dec. 17: A car bomb killed 13 off-duty soldiers and injured dozens of other people near Erciyes University in the central province of Kayseri.

• Dec. 10: A pair of bombs — in a car and on an individual — killed 44 people and injured more than 150 others outside a soccer stadium in Istanbul, after a match between top-ranked teams.

• Nov. 4: A car bomb detonated near riot police killed at least 11 people, including two officers, and wounded up to 100 others in Diyarbakir in southeastern Turkey.

• Aug. 20: A suicide bomber believed to be 12 to 14 years old killed at least 51 people at a Kurdish wedding in Gaziantep in south-central Turkey near Syria.

• July 15: A faction of the Turkish military attempted a coup to remove President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with hundreds killed in the failed effort and tens of thousands of people detained during the investigation.

• June 28: Three suicide bombers with rifles attacked Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, killing 44 people and injuring more than 200.

• Jan. 12: A suicide bomber linked to the Islamic State killed 12 German tourists in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet Square, an that is home to the historic Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace and the Hagia Sophia museum.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:23 pm    Post subject: UN Security Council condemns attack in Turkey Reply with quote

The Latest: UN Security Council condemns attack in Turkey
AP - Associated Press

The U.N. Security Council is condemning "in the strongest terms" the shooting in Istanbul, Turkey, that killed at least 39 people at a night club on New Year's Eve, calling the assault "a heinous and barbaric terrorist attack."

In a press statement, the council members also express sympathy and condolences to the families of those slain and of the dozens of wounded.

The council says it reaffirms, in its words, "that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security."

Oh yeah, and a lot of help it is, a lot of good it does! Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:25 pm    Post subject: The latest on Istanbul attack Reply with quote

https://www.yahoo.com/news/latest-turkey-lowers-number-foreign-fatalities-062644466.html

ISTANBUL (AP) — The Latest on a deadly attack on an Istanbul nightclub. (all times local):

10:35 p.m.

Turkey's state-run news agency says Kurdish rebels have attacked a police station in a town in southeast Turkey with rocket launchers.

Anadolu Agency says no one was hurt in the attack late on Sunday in the town of Cinar, in the mainly-Kurdish Diyarbakir province.

The agency says security forces launched an operation to catch the alleged assailants.

The rebels of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, have regularly targeted police and other security forces after a fragile peace process collapsed in 2015. Kurdish militants linked to the group have carried several deadly bombings in the country.

The group, which has been fighting for Kurdish autonomy in southeast Turkey, is considered a terror organization by Ankara and its western allies.

___

10 p.m.

A Kuwaiti diplomat in Turkey says one Kuwaiti is dead and five others wounded after an attack on an Istanbul nightclub.

Consul-General Mohammad Fahad al-Mohammad told The Associated Press the five wounded remain hospitalized Sunday night. He said the person killed was taken alive to a hospital after the shooting at the Reina nightclub, but later died.

Kuwait, a tiny, oil-rich emirate in the Middle East, is a strong U.S. ally stemming from the 1991 Gulf War.

The nation has faced its own militant attacks recently. A suicide bomber killed at least 27 people and wounded 227 during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan last year.

In October, an Egyptian who allegedly was an Islamic State supporter rammed a garbage truck into a vehicle carrying U.S. soldiers, wounding only himself.

___

9:00 p.m.

Turkey's state-run news agency says that nearly two-thirds of the people killed in the Istanbul nightclub attack were foreign nationals.

Anadolu Agency reported Sunday that 24 of the shooting attack's 39 victims were citizens of other countries.

However, the news agency did not provide a breakdown of their nationalities.

Anadolu says authorities still are trying to identify four of the victims.

Nearly 70 also were injured in the early morning attack during New Year's celebrations at the upscale Reina nightclub.

The agency quoted opposition lawmaker Ali Seker as telling reporters after visiting a forensic medicine institute that the Turkish victims of the attack included a policeman, a waiter and two security guards employed at the club.

___

8:45 p.m.

The Lebanese Foreign Ministry says three citizens were killed and four wounded in the shooting attack at a crowded Istanbul nightclub.

The ministry said in a statement Sunday that its diplomats in Turkey are still searching local hospitals to make sure there are no Lebanese victims going uncounted or missing.

The ministry identified the three dead as Elias Wardini, Rita Shami and Haikal Musalam.

The wounded included Bushra El Douaihy, the daughter of parliament member Estephan El Douaihy.

The Lebanese victims are among the 39 people killed in the attack during New Year's celebrations at the Reina nightclub.

Lebanon's government plans to send a jet to Istanbul on Sunday night with a medical team and relatives of the wounded in order to bring them back to Beirut.

___

8:25 p.m.

Jordan's Foreign Ministry says three Jordanians were among the 39 people killed in the shooting attack at a crowded Istanbul nightclub.

The ministry said in a statement Sunday that Jordanian diplomats have visited the four citizens wounded in the New Year's attack, whose conditions range from stable to critical.

Jordan, a staunch U.S. ally, has been targeted for terror attacks by extremists in the past. Most recently, the Islamic State group made Jordan a focus after the kingdom joined the American-led coalition targeting the militants.

A gunman opened fire at the crowded Reina nightclub in Istanbul during New Year's celebrations before managing to flee.

___

8:10 p.m.

France's foreign minister says one French citizen was killed and three others wounded in the New Year's shooting attack at a crowded Istanbul nightclub.

Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said in a statement that a woman with both French and Tunisian citizenship died in the attack early Sunday.

Ayrault says the woman's Tunisian husband also died.

Due to the presence of French citizens among the casualties, the Paris prosecutor's office says it has opened a criminal investigation for "terrorist murders and attempted murders."

An assailant opened fire at the Reina nightclub during New Year's celebrations, killing at least 39 people.

Turkish authorities said foreigners from "many different nationalities" are among the wounded in the attack.

French President Francois Hollande says in a statement that France "will pitilessly pursue the fight" against terrorism with its allies.

___

7:45 p.m.

Saudi Arabia has condemned an attack on an Istanbul nightclub that killed at least 39 people as a kingdom-funded satellite news channel reported the assault left seven Saudis dead and 10 wounded.

Saudi state media and its Foreign Ministry did not immediately provide their own death tolls or confirm the report Sunday night by the Dubai-based broadcaster Al Arabiya.

The channel cited the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul for the information. The Associated Press could not immediately reach the embassy for comment.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry issued a statement denouncing and condemning the shooting attack at the crowded Reina nightclub during New Year's celebrations.

It said the kingdom is "standing alongside brotherly Turkey against terrorism and extremism."

___

6:30 p.m.

A Lebanese man says his brother was killed in the Istanbul shooting at a crowded nightclub.

Charbel Wardini told The Associated Press on Sunday that his 26-year-old brother, Elias, was among the 39 people killed in the attack at the crowded Reina nightclub during New Year's celebrations.

Wardini said: "I lost my brother because of terrorism. If you tell me terrorism, I will go fight against them."

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency said seven Lebanese were wounded in the attack.

Lebanon's Foreign Ministry reported earlier that the daughter of Parliament Member Estephan El Douaihy was among those injured.

The Lebanese government plans to send a jet to Istanbul on Sunday night with a medical team and relatives of the wounded in order to bring them back to Beirut.

___

6:15 p.m.

A Turkish media report says at least seven Saudi nationals and four Iraqis were among the 39 people killed in the Istanbul nightclub attack.

The private Dogan news agency said Sunday the dead also included two Indians, two Tunisians and one victim each from Canada, Syria, Israel, Lebanon and Belgium.

There was no immediate confirmation from Turkish officials on the nationalities of the dead.

Meanwhile, the state-run Anadolu news agency identified a female security guard who was among those killed.

The agency says 29-year-old Hatice Karcilar as a private security guard at the Reina nightclub. Her body has been taken to her hometown on the coast of the Marmara Sea.

Andalou says she is survived by her husband and a 3-year-old daughter.

___

6 p.m.

The United States is denying reports in Turkish new outlets and on social media that its security agencies knew in advance that a nightclub in Istanbul was at risk of a terror attack.

The U.S. Embassy in Ankara said in a statement issued Sunday that "contrary to rumors circulating in social media, the U.S. Government had no information about threats to specific entertainment venues, including the Reina Club."

The statement says the U.S. also "did not warn Americans to stay away from specific venues or neighborhoods."

The Embassy says that on Dec. 22, the U.S. Embassy issued a general "holiday season threat warning" for Turkey and various parts of Europe, "as we do whenever there are indications that American citizens might be targeted or subjected to violence."

___

5:25 p.m.

Turkish media say the victims of the New Year's attack inside an Istanbul nightclub include a police officer and a travel agent.

State-run Anadolu news agency reported Sunday that the body of 22-year-old police officer Burak Yildiz was en route to his hometown in the southern city of Mersin.

Yildiz, who had been on the force for 1½ years, was shot and killed outside the Reina nightclub.

Private Dogan news agency reports that 47-year-old travel agent Ayhan Arik, a father of two, was another of the first victims of the early morning attack that killed 39 people.

The news agency says the gunman shot Arik in the head outside the club.

___

5:10 p.m.

The U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul is warning American citizens to limit their movements in the city in the wake of the bloody nightclub attack.

The consulate said in a statement Sunday that "security operations are still ongoing in the aftermath of the January 1st gunfire attack at Reina nightclub" and that "U.S. citizens are advised to shelter in place and to limit movements to an absolute minimum."

It also is urging Americans in Istanbul to keep in close contact with concerned family members in the U.S.

The statement reminds U.S. citizens that extremists "are continuing aggressive efforts to conduct attacks in areas where U.S. citizens and expatriates reside or frequent."

___

4:50 p.m.

Turkey's prime minister has denied news reports claiming the gunman who killed 39 people inside an Istanbul nightclub during New Year's celebrations wore a Santa Claus outfit.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters Sunday: "There is no truth to this. He is an armed terrorist as we know it."

The prime minister also said after visiting the wounded in a hospital that the assailant attacked security personnel outside the club before shooting randomly inside.

Yildirim says the attacker left a gun inside the venue and escaped by "taking advantage of the chaos" that ensued.

He says three of the wounded remain in critical condition.

The prime minister is vowing to keep fighting terror organizations, but notes that, "The terror that happens here today may happen in another country in the world tomorrow."

___

3:35 p.m.

Turkey's Minister of Family and Social Policies says foreigners are among the wounded in the attack on an Istanbul nightclub that left at least 39 dead and nearly 70 wounded.

Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya said: "There are many different nationalities, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Lebanon, Libya and citizens of other nations."

The minister was speaking to the media outside a hospital after visiting the wounded, according to Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency.

___

2:55 p.m.

Lebanon's Foreign Ministry says three Lebanese citizens were wounded in the Istanbul shooting at a crowded nightclub, including the daughter of a member of parliament.

The ministry said in a statement Sunday carried by state media that the three Lebanese were lightly wounded. It said they were the daughter of legislator Estephan El Douaihy and two men.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun condemned the attack in a letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying all countries should coordinate in fighting terrorism.

The assailant opened fire at the crowded nightclub during New Year's celebrations, killing at least 39 people and wounding dozens.

Turkey is a major destination for Lebanese tourists.

___

2:50 p.m.

Pope Francis has decried the New Year's attack in Istanbul that was carried out on what he called a "night of good-wishes and hope."

Francis told pilgrims and tourists in St. Peter's Square Sunday that he was close in prayer to the many dead and to their families, to the wounded and to the entire Turkish people.

A gunman fired on New Year's revelers in an Istanbul night club early Sunday, killing 39 and wounding about 70 people, before fleeing.

Francis lamented that so many people in the world were left grieving because of terrorism.

___

2:40 p.m.

CCTV footage shows that the assailant in a nightclub shooting in Istanbul wore a Santa Claus hat for part of the attack, which unfolded despite increased security measures.

The footage, obtained by AP from Haberturk newspaper, shows the male assailant dressed in black and carrying a backpack as he shoots down a police officer outside the Reina nightclub.

Footage taken by a different camera shows him inside the swanky club in Istanbul's Ortakoy neighborhood wearing different clothes and a Santa Claus hat.

Reina owner Mehmet Kocarslan, interviewed by the private Dogan news agency, said police had boosted security measures in the upscale neighborhood of Ortakoy and its vicinity.

The measures included tents at key locations with a 24-hour police presence and complementary efforts by the coast guard at sea.

"Despite all these precautions by police forces, unfortunately this painful event took place. We don't know what to say," he added. "We are at the point where all words end."

__

2:30 p.m.

An Israeli woman has been identified as one of the 39 victims of the shooting attack in an Istanbul nightclub.

Israel's foreign ministry confirms that 18-year-old Leanne Nasser from the Israeli-Arab town of Tira was killed.

Nasser was celebrating with three friends at the Reina nightclub when the gunman broke in and opened fire. Her friend Ruaa Mansour, also 18, was moderately wounded in the attack. The other two friends were unharmed.

___

1:45 p.m.

Heavily armed police are blocking the snowy street in front of Istanbul's Reina nightclub, where a gunman killed at least 39 people and wounded almost 70 hours earlier.

The entrance is covered with blue plastic sheeting below a Turkish flag. Crime scene Investigators were seen inside searching through piles of mingled chairs, tables and pieces of clothing left behind during the panic among the guests. Turkish police boats were patrolling the Asian side of the Bosporus on the other side of the club.

There were some emotional scenes in front of a city morgue where those shot dead were brought for identification. Some relatives cried out and fell to the ground as they apparently learned the fate of their loved ones.

___

1:35 p.m.

Italy's foreign minister says unity among countries and continents is needed to combat terror.

Minister Angelino Alfano in tweets Sunday says the Istanbul New Year's nightclub attack that killed 39 people "reminds us that the fight against terror doesn't stop for any holiday or celebration."

He says "tears aren't enough."

Instead, Alfano says: "We must keep fighting against terror. To fight, together, to defend our freedom."

___

1:10 p.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has sent her condolences to the victims of the Istanbul attack, saying "terrorists ... have carried out an inhumane and devious attack on people who wanted to celebrate the New Year together."

"My thoughts this morning are with the victims, their families and friends," she said.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier also condemned the killing of 39 people at a nightclub in Istanbul, calling it a "cruel and cowardly attack."

Steinmeier said in a statement Sunday that Germany "condemns this act and all forms of terrorism with all severity."

He says Germany "stands by Turkey's side in these difficult hours," expressing condolences to those who lost loved ones and wishing the injured a speedy and total recovery.

Diplomats say it is unclear yet whether any Germans are among the victims.

___

12:45 p.m.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned the attack on an Istanbul nightclub that left at least 39 people dead and nearly 70 wounded, saying Turkey will relentlessly continue fighting terror.

Erdogan said in a written statement Sunday: "I vehemently condemn the terror attack in Istanbul's Ortakoy neighborhood in the first hours of 2017."

Offering his condolences for those who lost their lives, including "foreign guests," Erdogan says "Turkey continues its combat against terror and is absolutely determined to do whatever is necessary in the region to ensure its citizens safety and peace."

___

12:35 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent Turkey's president a telegram of condolences, denouncing the Istanbul nightclub attack.

"It is hard to imagine a more cynical crime than killing innocent people during New Year celebrations," Putin said in the message to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Kremlin said Sunday.

"However, terrorists don't share moral values. Our common duty is to combat terrorists' aggression," Putin said.

Nordic and Baltic leaders reacted on Twitter, with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius saying "terrorist cowards can kill, but can't win."

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite sent her "heartfelt condolences," while Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven called the attack "awful."

In Norway, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said it was a "cowardly armed attack toward innocent civilians."

There were no immediate reports of casualties from the region among the foreign victims.

___

11:15 a.m.

Mehmet Dag, 22, was passing by the club where a gunman killed at least 39 people and wounded nearly 70 in Istanbul and saw the suspect shoot at a police officer and a bystander.

"I was in shock at the scene," he said. Dag says the suspect then targeted security, gunning them down and entering the club. "Once he went in, we don't know what happened. There were gun sounds and after two minutes, the sound of an explosion."

Istanbul's governor said the attacker, armed with a long-barreled weapon, killed a policeman and a civilian outside Istanbul's popular Reina club at around 1:15 a.m. before entering and firing on people partying inside.

IPhone footage filmed by Dag and obtained by The Associated Press shows a police officer lying on the ground outside the club, and then a woman. Dag tells the woman, who is lying on the floor face down in a pool of blood, "my sister, you will get better." He calls for an ambulance. Footage shows ambulances and the lights of an Istanbul bridge when the sound of gunfire rings out inside the club.

___

9:20 a.m.

Turkey's interior minister has lowered the number of foreign nationals killed in the Istanbul nightclub attack to 15.

Suleyman Soylu meanwhile says of the five Turkish fatalities identified so far, three or four were believed to be employees working at the club.

He says: "This was a massacre, a truly inhuman savagery."

The minister says the attacker was believed to have left the club wearing "different clothing" to those he entered the club in. He says the attacker is believed to have carried out the assault alone.

Health Minister Recep Akdag also said that four of the injured were in "very serious condition" and the wounded also included several foreigners.

___

7:55 a.m.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu has raised the death toll in the Istanbul nightclub attack to 39.

The minister said Sunday that of the victims identified so far 16 were foreign nationals. He did not provide any information on their countries.

Soylu said the attacker was still at large and that 69 people were being treated in hospitals following the shooting.

___

7:20 a.m.

A handful of WNBA players, including Essence Carson, Chelsea Gray and Jantel Lavender of the Los Angeles Sparks, were next door to the deadly shooting at a nightclub in Istanbul.

Sparks coach Brian Agler confirmed to The Associated Press that Carson had texted him that the three players were OK.

An assailant believed to have been dressed in a Santa Claus costume opened fire at a nightclub during New Year's celebrations, killing at least 35 people and wounding 40 others in what the province's governor described as a terror attack.

Carson had tweeted earlier in the evening that she was "stuck inside of the club because of 'terror' shooting in Istanbul. Praises to the most high."

About two dozen WNBA players are in Turkey during their offseason playing in a league there.

___

4:50 a.m.

The White House is condemning what it calls a "horrific terrorist attack" in Istanbul and offering U.S. help to Turkey.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz says Obama was briefed on the attack by his national security team and asked to be updated as the situation develops. Obama is vacationing in Hawaii this week with his family.

White House National Security Council spokesman Ned Price says the attack on "innocent revelers" celebrating New Year's shows the attackers' savagery. He says the U.S. sends thoughts and prayers to the relatives of those killed.

Price says the U.S. supports its NATO ally Turkey as both countries fight terrorism.

The assailant is believed to have been dressed as Santa Claus when he killed 35 people and wounded 40 more at an Istanbul nightclub.

___

4:30 a.m.

Eyewitness Sinem Uyanik told the Associated Press she saw several bodies inside the Istanbul nightclub that was attacked during New Year's celebrations.

Her husband Lutfu Uyanik was wounded in the attack. "Before I could understand what was happening, my husband fell on top me," she said outside Istanbul's Sisli Hospital. "I had to lift several bodies from on top of me before I could get out."

Her husband was not in serious condition despite his wounds.

Istanbul Gov. Vasip Sahin said the attack left at least 35 people dead and 40 wounded.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:28 pm    Post subject: Istanbul Nightclub Suspect Identified Reply with quote

Istanbul Nightclub Suspect Identified

Turkish officials said Wednesday that the suspected gunman in a New Year’s night attack on an Istanbul nightclub has been identified. Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu announced the development in a TV interview, but he did not provide any other information about the suspect, who has not been publicly named. Officials on Tuesday released a video of the alleged shooter, but it was unclear how they had obtained the footage or connected it to the mass shooting. Several arrests have been made in connection to the massacre, but the search for the gunman continues. Thirty-nine people were killed in the club during the early morning hours of New Year’s Day, and dozens more were injured. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the atrocity.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/04/istanbul-nightclub-gunman-identified-says-turkish-foreign-minister.html
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